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You want the sun back. Bad. You'd pay for it if you could. But it doesn't work like that. Sure, you can get most anybody to take your money. Not God though... trust me, I've tried to pay Him off before. Silence. I mean it... talk about crickets.
About all the rain, that's just how things have been lately.
Most days here, a downpour's been no more than five minutes away. Every time you think you're going to get that sun back for free... that the monsoons will up and move their stormy temperament on to a new venue—DC, perhaps... those Beltway folks could use a good dousing— God seems to kick back in His easy chair and laugh. Turn it on again. Only harder this time, sheets of it, enough to soak through your clothes and slick your hair right to your scalp in an instant.
It sucks. Streets and ditches and pools and plain old sidewalks overflow...
...beach days get cancelled, and just when you think it might stop... It. Keeps. Happening.
Like now. Have you heard? Survey says...
Oh, P.S. that green means rain. Three days of it... allegedly.
I've learned that most people thrive on sunshine. You live here for a reason, and a flooded Crosstown and waterlogged boat just isn't it.
Maybe it's because I'm Irish and I shrink at the sizzle of sunshine, and because I'll choose a dark, cozy bar over a sunny patio without thinking twice about it... or that my idea of a great summer beach read is Alone on the Ice, a frigid tale of early Antarctic exploration (not kidding, I just finished it...), or that on July 4th, when a gray haze blew in and a downpour hit Sullivan's, me and my blue bikini were in heaven... I felt like my day in the sun had finally arrived.
Maybe it's because of all that, but to me, sunny days are a gimme. An A+ without the effort, a rockin' list of choices without any really hard ones that make you think. Beach pool errands boat. Yes yes yes yes. Backyard frontyard walk run bike sun shade. Yes yes yes, yes yes yes. Yes.
Fun, but no challenge. No surprises, sort of like that tall blonde looker you spot. Plenty to look at, but not much to think about.
Rainy days though? To me, they test our imaginations, draw us into a cloud to bend and twist and make something of. And do what with?
That's the question.
I think of cooking a good jambalaya, a souffle, something that will shrink that list of Things I Never Make. See, I may not be able to leave the house, but I can use it. Or I can sketch out my next one, one with a better shower and a porch for when the rain comes. I won't float down flooded Charleston streets just to get my shopping on, but I'll walk in the rain to the corner store's wine rack and crepe grill. I can write a story or two, or just finish reading the one I have—Liar's Club, the memoir of a Texas girl and her Nervous mother and Indian father who used to ride the rails. I can sketch out my next vacation, plan it out right down to booking. Dare I look for someplace sunny? I won't count it out—Turks & Caicos, maybe, or margaritas in Southern Cal—but neither will I count out a lively jaunt through Ireland. Dark pubs and all. I can practice my handstands. I like to do that on the beach, I do, I love it, but the wall next to the TV is good for working on my form. I can summon friends and talk, instead of just running through our thoughts as we do and go, quickly, phones to our ears because shit, we're late again so five minutes is enough for whirlwind discourse. Hell, I could hold a parlor discussion if I wanted. On Game of Thrones or gun control or the best pizza pie in town. And who the hell would show up to that on sunny 85-degree day? Exactly.
So... What will you do?
All photos by Melinda Monk. Find her on Instagram: Melsmithmonk